Danger to Computer Equipment Caused by Cloud to Ground Lightning
08-16-21: Danger to Computer Equipment Caused by Cloud to Ground Lightning
I’ll start by reminding everyone that The Villages is located in Florida, which is not just the Sunshine state but is also known as the lightning capital of the U.S. In addition, it is quite possible that during the current rainy season in Central Florida we may very well experience more cloud to ground lightning strikes than in years past. This should surprise no one.
So then, what is the best way to protect your computer/electronic equipment from being damaged by a lightning strike near your house? Should you be worried if your house is not actually struck by a bolt of lightning? Yes, you need to worry about the very real potential for a lightning bolt to travel underground in any direction from its point of impact and cause a power surge and a voltage spike that travels thru the wiring in your house. A surge/spike can damage electronic components in any number of devices that are connected to your wiring. Hands down, the very best way to protect any device that uses electricity during a lightning storm is to disconnect it from the power source. Clearly, some devices are too difficult to move and disconnect, but in most instances when it comes to computer components, it should be relatively easy to disconnect them. Please note that I used the word “disconnect” NOT the phrase “turn off”. You need to know that the safest thing to do is to turn off, AND THEN DISCONNECT ALL computer related components including your PC, wireless router/gateway, printer(s), external storage devices, etc., etc.
We are well aware that everyone has different interests, requirements, capabilities and motivation, and that what may work quite well for many folks can’t work the very same way for everyone. This notice is merely an attempt to make you aware of a risk and to suggest sensible generic protection measures. So, please take some time review your particular situation and decide what protection measures are right for you. I also ask that you take the time to review the presentation given by lightning expert, Len Hathaway at the VCC meeting on May 7, 2021: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WBA-eoT14KAh-8YyxUB5I_dkv_Rhn6sz/view
Please stay safe.
Peter Cronas, President – The Villages Computer Club